Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them
When the writer Donovan Hohn heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read up on Arctic science and geography. But ques ...more
Donovan Hohn begins his tale with an accident at sea. A container ship, in the face of fifty-foot waves, rolls sufficiently to dump more than a few containers, those box-car sized giant legos that we use to transport stuff from here to there. One such dumpee held a large quantity of plastic bath toys. Included were beavers, frogs, turtles and the most-familiar, ducks. Not rubber, mind you, but plastic. His aim is to find as many places ...more
Instead he threw together a horribly disjointed rant with a few funny comments here and there. Half the time he's just describing and telling the reader how he feels. The rest of the time he briefly comments on a certain topic before randomly changing ...more
Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them by Donovan Hohn proved to be a disappointing book. I had high hopes for the book as it received quite a few positive reviews both on Goodreads and in the book press in general. Unfortunately I could not get past the self-revelatory clap – trap that the author seemed hell bent on sharing whether it was relevant or not. I...more
Here is a totally true story, which I am not just making up so that I will win the First Reads giveaway for this book (but please can I have this book, Goodreads Gods??): Donovan Hohn, the author of this amazingly crazy book, was doing a reading in Brooklyn on the same day that this guy was doing a reading. I srsly love The Oatmeal, and although it was a super hard choice, I went to ...more
That story turns out to have been false, part of the growing myth surrounding the Friendly Floatees. Much like the white whale, a figment of the collective imagination.
This book tells the story, as best can be reconstr ...more
I kept expecting to learn something, but gave up. This book was obviously sold on concept and the real concept was to give the author the chance to take adventure vacations paid for by grants and an advance.
The author, who is obviously one of the privileged (no one else can afford to teach at the kind of NYC private school he taught at) pretends to be poor, which is offensive, and his reporting on other people is permeated with conceit he seems unaware of. He lost me completely w ...more
I didn't always enjoy the 305,017 other details the author felt the need to research and share (and I s ...more
It was way too detailed when it came to names, dates and somewhat irrelevant connections between people. He jumps about in the timeline in a very confusing way sometimes and when giving examples o ...more
He talks about feeling trapped and that his life is no longer his own after seeing his child's ultrasound. He then proceeds to take off on a bit of a fool's errand just before his wife's due, and from what I ...more
Hohn takes a light-hearted approach to his material (and how could you not?) and almost seems to use the book proposal as an excuse to travel, but then again, he's not jetsetting with the rich and famous. Rather he crosses the Pacific on a container ship, and then travels to Alaska on the intercoastal f ...more
The author, inspired by a story presented by one of his students, decides to go find out what happened to a bunch of plastic bath toys that fell off a container ship in the northern Pacific in 1992. IN the course of his adventures, he meets and hangs out with the people mentioned in the subtitle, plus toy manufacturers, container ship captains, Arctic scientists, and other characters in an e ...more
There is supposedly a story here about a lost container of toys and their journey through the ocean(s). The story is there, but it gets buried by numerous digressions that overwhelm and drag the story under.
It's a tough thing to criticize because the digressions do seem educational and useful, but sometimes they further digress, provide too much details, or end up as a mechanism for the airing of the authors ...more
But also, much of the praise for this book is valid too. Something about it compels you to stick with it, mirroring many readers' e ...more